Health & Safety

November 21, 2013

How to combat bullying in the digital age

Capt. Allison Walker
17th Medical Operations Squadron pediatrician

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Watching the news, many parents may feel perplexed by the recent surge of “cyberbullying.”

Cyberbullying? What is that? This relatively new phenomena is unchartered waters for most parents and keeping children safe in this new technological arena can be anxiety provoking.

Cyberbullying is defined as deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about another person. As of 2011, at least 75 percent of teenagers had cell phones, and more than 50 percent were logging into some version of social media daily. The 24/7 access to digital media allows for such damaging information to become wide public knowledge almost instantly – and incredibly difficult to remove. The most recent numbers report that more than 20 percent of adolescents have been the victim of cyberbullying. This is a very common online risk and can result in severe depression, anxiety, social isolation and even suicide.

If you or your child experiences cyberbullying, immediately end the interaction. Never respond to a bully. Get school officials involved, notify the site managers if it occurs on social media (it often is in violation of their rules), and of course, if there are any threats of violence or safety concerns, notify the police.

 

What can you do to help protect your child from becoming a victim or perpetrator? 

Most social media sites, such as Facebook or Myspace, have a minimal age requirement of 13 years of age for use. This is the age set by Congress to prohibit sites from collecting information from children. Learn the age restrictions set by the sites your child is accessing and adhere to them. In addition, look at the site and make sure that you agree that the content is age appropriate.

Have a family meeting or use dinner conversations to discuss online topics and specific issues children face on-line.

Always dig deeper if your child has a change in mood, new fears regarding school/friends, or the onset of sadness/aggression immediately following exposure to digital media.

As a family, take time to review the privacy settings and monitor the profiles of each member to identify any inappropriate posts on a routine basis. Emphasize healthy behaviors and citizenship – this should not be a punishment.

Establish a family use plan to limit the time spent using digital media – not only does this help to limit the time your child is vulnerable to cyberbullying, but it limits distractions to homework and sleep as well. Make sure all access to digital media is removed at bedtime and adhere to your school’s policy on internet and phone use.

Become better educated with technologies and social media sites.

Actively participate in supervising on-line activities, not remotely with software.

Be a good role model. Limit your time with digital media and demonstrate private and safe behaviors.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

D-M to host Motorcycle Safety Rally

Airmen of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is hosting Motorcycle Safety Rally Mar. 27. There will be various activities during this event to include Tucson Police Department and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department conducting a motorcycle demonstration and awards given to the best bikes. After a safety briefing, the bikers will depart for a 2-3 hour...
 
 

New plan to dramatically change today’s health systems

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — With the goal to move from healthcare to health, the Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) has created a dynamic plan that promises to revolutionize health and human performance systems as they exist today. The Human Performance Concept of Operations (CONOPS), created by Air Force medical planners, strives to not only prevent or...
 
 

The hazards of dietary supplements

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE- Idaho — How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? Have you been hitting the gym like you wanted to, modified your diet, or restocked your dietary supplement shelf? Before you throw some more money at protein shakes, diet pills, and energy drinks, I encourage you to research the products you’re buying...
 

 

VA eliminates net worth as health care eligibility factor

Washington – The Department of Veterans Affairs is updating the way it determines eligibility for VA health care, a change that will result in more Veterans having access to the health care benefits they’ve earned and deserve. Effective 2015, VA eliminated the use of net worth as a determining factor for both health care programs...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

D-M Airmen respond first to desert wreck

Three D-M Airmen were driving through the desert on their way to a popular hiking spot to enjoy a typical Sunday outdoors. Everything was going according to plan until they spotted a person on the right side of the road frantic...
 
 

Defeating “Monster Mouth”

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski) Airman Jessika Silva-Gomez, 355th Dental Squadron dental assistant, helps a child sort out foods that are beneficial to dental hygiene during a presentation at the Finley Child Development Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Feb. 24. Personnel from the 355th DS provided examples of proper...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin